Huge response to South Lanarkshire play park consultation

A South Lanarkshire-wide survey on improvements to fixed play areas has now concluded.

There was a huge response to the consultation; the council will now have to decide how best to carve up its first allocation of government cash.
There was a huge response to the consultation; the council will now have to decide how best to carve up its first allocation of government cash.

The survey was announced after the Scottish Government identified £60 million to allow councils to improve existing play areas.

More than 6000 responses were received which council officers are now working their way through.

While welcoming the additional funding, it is a drop in the ocean when you consider that the South Lanarkshire Council area has 233 play sites.

The full £60 million allocated by the Scottish Government would need to be utilised in this area alone to upgrade all of those parks.

As a result, the council felt the best idea was to consult with the public on which parks they felt should be prioritised.

Councillor John Anderson, chair of the community and enterprise resources committee, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the survey.

“We also plan to undertake a physical assessment of each site and it is anticipated that this exercise will be completed by June 2022.

“It is our intention that once we have up to date site information and estimated costs, spend options will be submitted for approval.”

South Lanarkshire Council has been allocated £298,000 for 2021/22 & 2022/23 of the £10 million budget allocated to date by the Scottish Government. That equates to 5.96 per cent of the funds allocated across the 32 local authority areas.

Funds are likely to be allocated over the period 2021 to 2026 and if the same percentage is used for the remaining £55 million, the council will receive around £3.5 million in total.

Councillor Anderson added: “The refurbishment of a play area can cost between £30,000 and £350,000 depending on its size.

“While we welcome this additional funding, we will not be able to transform all of the council’s 233 play sites; the survey was designed to let us know which ones people feel we should prioritise.

“It’s worth remembering that any money allocated can only be used to refurbish existing fixed play areas owned by the council, for critical maintenance and to make the areas more accessible and inclusive for a range of abilities.”